Northrop Grumman to christen new destroyer

Published 6:31 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems on Saturday will christen a new guided missile destroyer for Commodore Thomas Truxtun, one of the U.S. Navy’s first captains.

The ceremony will be held at the company’s shipyard in Pascagoula.

Among the speakers are U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss.; Allison Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for ships; and Rear Adm. Charles H. Goddard, program executive officer for ships.

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The ceremony will include a speech by Wayde Rowsell, mayor of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland, Canada, on the heroism and sacrifice displayed by his town and Lawn, Newfoundland during World War II that involved the third Truxtun ship that ran aground during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland on Feb. 18, 1942.

The two communities worked together to save as many crew members as possible in icy waters. The ship lost 110 crew members, but because of the efforts of the two communities, there were other survivors.

President George Washington appointed Thomas Truxtun captain in the U.S. Navy in 1794 to command the first U.S. naval vessel, USS Constellation. Truxtun was later promoted to commodore. With Truxtun commanding, USS Constellation made the first successful capture of an enemy ship, a French frigate.

The 9,200-ton Truxtun is the 25th Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems and the 53rd ship in the class.